RealNews

Philippines Links Phone, Iraqi Diplomat

A cell phone used by a member of the Abu Sayyaf Muslim extremist group to call an Iraqi diplomat was later employed in a failed attempt to trigger a bomb, according to a confidential Philippine intelligence report. Iraqi Consul Husham Husain was expelled last week after the report claimed he received a call from an Abu Sayyaf member on Oct. 3, 2002, a day after a bomb in southern Zamboanga city killed a U.S. soldier and two other people. The caller was not identified. The Iraqi Embassy denied any links to Philippine dissident groups, including the Abu Sayyaf, which is on a U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations and has been loosely linked to al-Qaida. Six days after the contact was made, the caller’s cell phone was used to try to set off another bomb in Zamboanga’s San Roque district, near the military’s Southern Command headquarters, but it failed to go off, according to the intelligence report, obtained by The Associated Press. Full Story

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